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Frequently asked questions
What is Edge Computing and why should I care?
Whenever data is processed or stored somewhere other than the “cloud” it may be considered to be on the edge, because the “edge” refers to the locations that are not supported by a cloud service provider. Despite more than 20 years of cloud computing and network deployments, the ability of cloud service providers to deliver high enough data throughput and fast enough responses at low enough cost has been stretched beyond the limit. For some situations there may be significant technical, logistic or financial advantages to deploying computing capability closer to the location where data is produced and stored.
How small is the EdgePod™ and why does this matter?
The EdgePod™ is about the size of a large shoe box. This means it can be wall mounted in a convenient location or anywhere out of the way without using up precious floor space. All components are smaller so the EdgePod requires less power and cooling than comparable rack-mounted server class systems. And since the EdgePod also contains about 90% less materials, there is substantially less waste when the equipment reaches its end of life.
What is a converged Edge Computing Appliance?
Convergence is the combination of data acquisition & storage, data processing, and communication over networks and with external devices. When these functions are combined on a multi-server platform that is designed for deployment at the edge, we call it an Edge Computing Appliance. Unlike conventional 19-rack mount equipment, and unlike standalone ruggedized computers for dedicated purposes, an Edge Computing Appliance can run virtual machines and containers in a redundant configuration using the software orchestration tools designed for hundreds or thousands of remotely deployed systems.
Why does the weight of the EdgePod™ matter?
The EdgePod™ weighs less than 100 lbs (45kg) and this can be important if used in motion in marine, transit, aerospace, and any kind of moving vehicle. Low weight also matters for field installations and shipping costs for remote deployments and upgrades. Most courier services have a 100-150lb weight limit and lower weight components reduce the cost of spares management.
How can the EdgePod™ operate with so little power?
The EdgePod™ supports many of the same server-class multi-core CPU/GPUs that are found in conventional rack-mounted equipment, but are designed to operate in a harsh environment. Operating at lower power levels in a smaller form factor also generates less heat and reduces the need for cooling.
What does out-of-band security offer?
Many security breaches are caused by unauthorized users hacking into a network, or by oversimplified physical access restrictions. The EdgePod™ can only be accessed by a time-limited digital key on a completely separate network that is not linked to and cannot be hacked through the network connecting the EdgePod. This allows the EdgePod to be installed without external physical security (keys, swipe cards) yet still provides a complete audit capability for identity management.
What makes the EdgePod™ “green”?
Environmental stewardship is enhanced in many ways when compared to conventional cloud and private/hybrid cloud deployments:
- by reducing the amount of materials required to provide a computing platform, less raw materials and energy are need to produce an EdgePod
- by designing the EdgePod to operate in hot or cold environments, less energy is needed to keep it operating at an ideal temperature
- by using less than 300W of conventional single-phase power (or available renewable sources) there is no need for expensive polyphase power and complex backup power systems, and the associated energy consumed by these systems
- by designing the EdgePod to be rugged, the lifespan can be over 10-15 years, reducing the frequency of renewals and upgrades required, which saves money but also dramatically reduces e-waste when the equipment finally does reach end of life.
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